Diamond VISA Program: your fast track to Belgium
The Diamond Visa Program is a fast track visa service for any corporate members who regularly send employees, for business related matters, to Belgium.
1. What is the "Diamond Program"
‘‘Diamond Program” is the visa facilitation system introduced by the Embassy aiming at simplifying the visa application procedures for a selected group of companies with a specific economic interest in Belgium.
It is characterized by easier direct contact, a reduced list of documents, reduced application times and easier granting of long-term multiple entry visas.
The aim was double: firstly, to make it easier for the selected companies to do business in Belgium, secondly to relieve the Embassy of unnecessary paperwork in order to save time to deal with more problematic visa requests
2. What are the selection criteria to take part in the "Diamond Program" System?
In order to select the companies for this project, we combine the two objective criteria.
- Number of visa requested on a yearly base
- Economic relevance of the company for Belgium. This might be understood as already existing business ties or future investment plans.
3. Where do I apply for the Visa? Why can't I apply directly at the Consulate?
All visa applications have to be introduced at TLScontact at the Diamond Program special counter. The outsourcing procedure has been introduced in order to assure an acceptable processing time for all visa applicants. TLScontact is our outsourcing partner in Thailand. (( TLScontact, Bangkok Visa Application Centre 12th floor, Sathorn City Tower, 175 South Sathorn Road, Khwaeng Thungmahamek, Khet Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand Telephone number : (+66)28386666))
4. What do I need in order to apply for a Visa?
1) Valid passport and photocopy of the passport.
• This travel document must be valid for at least three months after the validity of the visa
• The total validity of the passport (with extensions) cannot exceed 10 years.
2) One visa application form correctly filled in and signed.
• Visa On Web platform is used for online applications. The hard copy version also needs to be submitted at TLScontact VAC.
3) Two recent passport photos bearing a true likeness to the applicant.
4) Scanned invitation letter from the inviting company in Belgium with stamp and authorized signature sent per email by contact person.
5) Original dispatch letter from Thailand with stamp and signature (the company’s letterhead in one of the official languages of Belgium or in English)
Both letters should mention:
• The details of the applicant (name, date of birth, passport number,
position in the company, etc.);
• The reason of the trip(s);
• The dates of the trip(s);
• The type of visa requested;
• The mention that all the travelling costs (ticket, hotel, living expenses) will be paid by the company in Belgium or in Thailand;
6) Travel insurance policy. The insurance must be valid throughout all the Schengen countries and must cover the whole duration of the stay. The minimum coverage for medical expenses and repatriation is 30,000 Euros.
7) Fees (Service fee and Visa fee)
(Extra documents might be requested by the Embassy in specific cases)
5. Which documents are NO longer required once part of the diamond program?
1) Documents indicating the financial status of the company in Thailand
2) Business license of the company
3) Hotel reservation and return ticket
4) Applicant’s last 3 pay slips (‘proof of solvency’)
6. Why does the company need to provide specimen of signatures?
The specimen of the signatures of persons authorized to sign the application letters are essential as they are requested in order to protect both your company and the Embassy from fraudulent applications.
7. How long does it take to deliver the VISA?
The visas will be delivered within 72 hours (3 working days) IF received by our VAC before 14:00hrs.
8. Do I have to present myself in person to introduce the application?
Because the system requires Biometry, it’s essential that every applicant presents him/herself to the TLScontact Visa Application Center. If your company is a member of the Diamond Program, the application process at the TLScontact Visa Application Center will be simplified. The biometrical data will remain in our database for 5 years making following applications a lot easier.
9. First time Participants -- Documents needed?
• A copy of your business license;
• Details of the authorized persons in Belgium and Thailand;
• Specimen of the invitation letter and dispatch letter, signed and stamped;
• If necessary, an authorized letter for the person who will be submitting the applications to our Visa Application Center. This can for example be the driver of your company (or any other person in charge of submitting the documents). We would need the copy of the ID card.
*PS. First time applicants should present themselves in person at the Visa Application Center for reason of Biometry.
10. What if I need a multiple entry Visa?
The Diamond Program aims at facilitating the delivery of multiple entry visas. The granting of a multiple entry visa happens gradually (cascade system) However, the delivery of visas remains on case-by-case basis.
11. Why has a multiple entry Visa not been granted?
Even if it is our policy to grant multiple entry visas when requested, it might not always be possible for following reasons:
• Each application is considered on its own merits;
• The validity of the passport does not allow it (minimum 3 months after the visa expires);
• On checking the passport we notice that a previous multiple entry visa has never been used or has not been used in Belgium. Your company might be contacted in order to clarify the situation before issuance.
12. Check list before planning your trip?
• When do I travel?
• Do I still have a valid Schengen visa?
• What is the validity of my passport?
• What is my insurance status?
13. List of the Schengen Countries.
It is important to recall what the Schengen area is exactly. It comprises of 26 countries located on the European continent;
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Note: Not all EU countries are part of Schengen and some non-EU have joined the Schengen agreement (Norway, Switzerland, Iceland).
Important Note: The Belgian-Luxembourg/Thai Chamber of Commerce provides the membership with the member confirmation letter to the Embassy to help facilitate the application process. The Chamber does not represent the middleman to provide any shortcut regarding the Visa approval, meaning that Individuals or Corporates application still depends on applicant status and the Embassy process.